Peter Yates's 1968 cop drama has its existentialist pretensions, but there is something seductive about its strained seriousness and Steve McQueen's intentionally stoic performance as a San Francisco police detective on th... more »e trail of a murderer. A couple of key action sequences boost the film's stature, the most memorable of which is a vertiginous car chase that Yates almost approaches as a dance. Jacqueline Bisset provides window dressing as Bullitt's girlfriend--worried about how much his job strips away his humanity--and Robert Vaughan is almost reptilian as an opportunistic politician. --Tom Keogh« less
Steve McQueen scorches the streets of San Francisco
P. Ferrigno | Melbourne, Victoria Australia | 11/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Arguably the best crime film of 1968, and certainly one of the most influential films of the genre...."Bullitt" established new directions in the mood and style of crime thrillers, and firmly established McQueen as one of the key anti-hero stars of the 60's. Based on the gritty novel "Mute Witness" by Robert L. Pike, this was the first, and only, time McQueen portrayed a police officer (albeit a maverick one) in his movie career. In 1968 Steve was then riding high on the success of his previous heist film, "The Thomas Crown Affair", and "Bullitt" just propelled his star even higher into the cinematic heavens !
The plot is tight, economical and well crafted....taciturn, moody Detective Frank Bullitt (McQueen) is charged with the protection of a key witness vital to an upcoming trial involving Mafia connections. Whilst hidden away in a supposed secure location, the witness and his police guard are brutally gunned down by unknown assailants. The heat is turned up on Bullitt by his tough Captain (Simon Oakland) and the manipulative, opportunistic politician Walter Chalmers (Robert Vaughn) to come up with the right answers fast ! Between the draining investigation, Bullitt struggles to maintain his relationship with his cultured, sensitive girlfriend, Cathy (Jacqueline Bisset)
Primarily coming from a TV series background, Englishman Peter Yates (directing his fourth movie) did a commendable job as director on "Bullitt"...producing a complex, intense crime thriller with a unique style that would ultimately influence many other films. Yates would later to go onto direct tough guy Robert Mitchum in the excellent 1973 "sleeper" crime film "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" !
And of course "Bullitt" is reknowned for it's now legendary car chase between Frank Bullitt's 390 GT Mustang and the two hitmen in their black, Dodge Charger 440 Magnum barrelling through the city streets and highways of San Francisco....just don't pay too much attention to how many times they pass that slow-moving, green VW Beetle !!
The DVD transfer is excellent in both sound and picture quality, and the Limited Edition Collectors Set with the additional goodies (Single sheet poster, shooting draft, lobby cards etc.) is a real bonus for keen film fans !!
One of my favourite cop thrillers....McQueen sizzles on screen !!"
A Few Thoughts ... about an American Style Icon
Curtis Chambers | Clearwater, FL USA | 09/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have read GQ and other men's fashion magazines for the last 20 years. No single person is mentioned as a men's style icon more often than Steve McQueen, and this movie defines his style most clearly. What I think that is not often understood, is why his style is so beloved. It is minimalist, yes, but also, this is someone not playing the middle class America game.
1) He lives in a small apartment. The furniture is ordinary, with a few hip 60's touches. (Watch for the picture over his bed, his paisley bathrobe, the cool paper hanging lampshade, and a couple of hippie style items on the walls). You get the impression he owns about six pairs of clothes at most. He eats cheap frozen dinners (except for the occasional date at the cool San Fran Restaurant). He is not wasting this time and life keeping up with the Jones's.
2.) He is not climbing the career ladder. On this case, he doesn't give a thought to politics. He is not chasing the American ideal of success.
3.) Look closely and you will see his car, the most famous in any movie ever, is a olive drab color. Not candy apple bright red. It is a Mustang, a symbol of blue collar America. It is dusty, and he parks it in the street, not a garage. He does not inspect it for door dings every time he goes out to it. It has dents in it. You get the impression he doesn't spend his free time polishing and waxing it.
4.) He doesn't spend his time chasing money. He spends it on his job, trying to do what he thinks is right, not what is good for office politics and promotion.
5.) His clothes are 60's pre-hippie fashion perfection (look for the extremely tapered legs, the suede loafers, and of course the famous tweed blazer and blue turtleneck).
In summary, I think it is funny that people idolize McQueen's personal style in this movie and yet they don't realize why. It is not just the stoicism, or minimalism. It is the old fashion American values (think Old West). Just something to think about as you watch one of my favorite movies of all time."
Film: ***** Blu-Ray Disc: * Rent it, or buy it used or on ma
APC Reviews | USA | 05/05/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Better view than the DVD. But only worth renting, or if it can be purchased used or on mark down at $5 or less.
A great film with very problematic picture and sound quality on Blu-Ray. The source transfer for "Bullit" has obviously not been re-done for Blu-Ray, and appears to be the same source transfer used for the older DVD edition of this film. Although the superior medium and capabilities of a 1080p Blu-Ray disc make this an upgraded way to view this material, the limitations of an aging source transfer abound and call attention to themselves. Detail is OK in well lit scenes, much less so on indirectly lit surfaces and shadows. Blacks are unstable and milky, and there is motion judder and blur of in motion detail in shadows. Skin tone and texture show the waxy effect of DNR (digital noise reduction). Surface detail is mediocre at best. Sharpening is obvious and annoying. All in all a better view than the DVD version. But only worth renting, or if it can be purchased used or on mark down at $5 or less."
Still a classic...
Richard | Marin County, CA | 10/29/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Few people who see this movie for the first time understand the profound impact it had when it came out. While modern day crime dramas are filled with gratuitous, numbing violence, the reality of this movie was a real breakthrough. The famous car chase may be the thiing that brings people back to "Bullitt" but the gritty realism is what makes this a classic. The only movie of that time which matched it for realism may have been "The Detectives". This movie really changed filmmaking. When I saw this movie in 1968, five people fainted in the theatre during the scene where the killers broke into the hotel room to murder the potential witness. There is also the fine performance of Robert Vaughn as a politician whose murdered star witness was his mealticket. Vaughn is noted as the consummate Hollywood liberal, and his portrayal of this self-serving scumbag is perfect."
Very Poor Quality
KLNcatz | Altoona, IA United States | 12/01/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have both the standard DVD and now (unfortunately) have the Blu-ray DVD. I was very disappointed in the extremely grainy picture quality on this disc. After watching the movie on Blu-ray I inserted the standard DVD and compared a few scenes. The main difference I can see on the Blu-ray copy is that some scenes appeared brighter. Even on sale for $9.99 this was a waste of money.
Since initially writing this review I have decided there is one benefit to the poor quality of this blu-ray release. It will actually save me money because I now have no desire to replace any movie in my existing collection of standard DVD's with its blu-ray counterpart. Probably not the result Warner Home Video was looking for, but what they should have expected."